Posts Tagged ‘prosperity’

Multiple Income Streams: I made a fool of myself…prepare to laugh out loud!

Trust me, you will never look at the Burton family the same way again. Have we no shame?

TOTR Burtons

18 Then I realized that it is good and proper for a man to eat and drink, and to find satisfaction in his toilsome labor under the sun during the few days of life God has given him–for this is his lot. 19 Moreover, when God gives any man wealth and possessions, and enables him to enjoy them, to accept his lot and be happy in his work–this is a gift of God. Ecclesiastes 5:18-19 (NIV)

A bunch of you out there have an aversion to enjoying life. You can probably blame a good, old fashioned religious spirit on that. God does want you to enjoy the life he died to give you. Of course, there’s a right way and a wrong way to do it. We should die daily and live in resurrection power. We should give and prosper.

Recently, Amy and I had the privilege of hosting a team of high school business class leaders at our escape room business, Escape Code, and our axe throwing business, The Axe Game in Branson, Missouri.

Something I thoroughly enjoy is introducing and sharing Kingdom principles and other bits of life-giving wisdom in the marketplace. I know the bulk of our success comes from our radical devotion to promoting godly standards and living with integrity in the workplace.

11 So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? Luke 16:11 (NIV)

We recently “enjoyed” the opportunity going through a state audit for our escape room business. After hours, and hours, weeks and weeks of hard work, they met with us in person. Of course, we were nervous, wondering if our math would match with theirs. They reported that, aside from some very minor miscalculations, everything matched up. They were actually quite surprised and impressed at our honesty and integrity. My wife handles the finances, and if a single penny doesn’t match up, she will work hard correcting the error. She will pay that penny. That is not an exaggeration.

After the high school students played one of our escape games, we had an opportunity to address the team of future business leaders and engage in a time of questions and answers. In addition to discussing the issues of extreme integrity and honor in the workplace, we encouraged them in a critical plan of action: develop multiple streams of income.

When I was in high school, the only obvious option after graduation was to go to college. The question every junior and senior was asked time and time again was, “Where are you going to college?” It was college or bust.

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It would have been extremely valuable to know that there are many additional options in our big, wide world! Trade schools, alternative learning, business incubators, internships, various prosperous jobs that don't require college and many additional choices are out there.

If our God loves to function outside the box, which he absolutely does, limiting our future and our income to a single, predictable track just doesn’t make sense. We made it clear that, yes, many would obviously benefit from a college degree, and, of course, many professions require it. I most certainly want our future doctors to have every degree and certification they need to operate. My oldest son, Skylar, is currently attending Lee University in Cleveland, Tennessee as he prepares for a career in law. College, and more, is a requirement for him.

However, whether college is or is not a part of one’s track toward success and prosperity, developing multiple streams of income is a valuable move. In my opinion, a non-negotiable one.

For instance, people often criticize pastors who are financially prosperous, presuming they are immoral, thieves or greedy, when in fact they may have wisely developed multiple streams of income. They are appropriately creating wealth according to biblical standards. They have bought and sold real estate, written books, built businesses, consulted or initiated any number of other ventures that create wealth for them and their family.

18 You shall remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth… Deuteronomy 8:18 (ESV)

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Amy and I never want to rely on a single source of income—or rely solely on ourselves. We want to let God lead and develop new ventures through us understanding that businesses fail, people get fired, the economy can crash and tides can turn. On the positive side, we are entrepreneurial at heart, and we have a blast creating businesses and fresh income strategies. It’s fun!

We aren’t “rich,” but, then again, I believe we are. Our lives have been enriched in many ways. God has blessed us and we are thankful.

17 Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. 1 Timothy 6:17 (NIV)

Over the years we’ve had many streams of income, most of them small, that have helped us grow financially.

In fact, when we leased space for The Axe Game earlier this year, two doors down from Escape Code, we also leased a storefront between the two businesses with plans to develop a third business at some point. It stands empty today as we give time to the praying and dreaming process. It is an exciting blank canvas for whatever big idea God drops into our spirit down the road.

5 The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty. Proverbs 21:5 (NIV)

A HILARIOUS NEW POTENTIAL INCOME SOURCE—GET READY TO LAUGH RIGHT AT ME!

The reason I’m writing this article isn’t to bring attention to what the Burton family is doing, but rather to share how God is working in us so as to encourage you to dream big and break free from the stranglehold of poverty and lack.

In fact, Amy and I along with the younger kids recently ventured into a new business that many would call “cringy,” but I call “cringy cool!” It’s called Toys of the Realm.

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But wait, allow me to back up a few weeks first. Another video project preceded Toys of the Realm.

Amy and I have been gifted in some specific ways, including communication, creativity, graphic design and video production. We also love to travel and do it often. Anything from short day trips to business trips to ministry trips to actual vacations keep us on the move regularly.

While we are about ten years late to the game, we decided to launch a YouTube travel channel. Many who started years ago are enjoying very large monthly checks. Today, the competition is much greater, but we will not be deterred! We spent a few hundred dollars for some basic equipment and then launched out to create travel videos. It’s so much fun! As I walk around with my gimbal, recording anything from donuts at Hurt’s Donut Company, to rides at Silver Dollar City, to cave systems to food on the table of our our favorite restaurants, people wonder what we are doing. We explain that we are travel vloggers and then offer them a business card that directs them to the YouTube channel that will soon have the very content they are watching us record, possibly that very night.

TPF! Travel Adventures is a fun, though time consuming, potential stream of income that we are taking very seriously. We understand that it may take anywhere from one to three years to see ad revenue from YouTube and our affiliate marketing to start trickling in. But, who knows, we may really need those paychecks at that time. We will be extremely thankful that we planned ahead and developed this stream of income.

27 Finish your outdoor work and get your fields ready; after that, build your house. Proverbs 24:27 (NIV)

TOYS OF THE REALM—CRINGY COOL

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Definition, CRINGY: Someone or something that makes you embarrassed to be a part of the human race. Usually classified by seeing something and feeling extremely embarrassed, throwing your head back and closing your eyes to block your view, and biting your lip to keep in your scream of utter disgust. ~Urban Dictionary

After Amy and I kept this next potential income stream a secret for the first four episodes, we decided it was time to let our pride go and let the world laugh with (at) us. I playfully posted this to Facebook last night:

I have to confess something… a hidden, secret part of my life.

You may never look at Amy or me the same way again…but it's time for the Burton family to come clean…

We can hear toys talk.

Yes, it's true. You might know me as a fiery preacher, an author and passionate revivalist… but, I couldn't keep this hidden part of our lives from you, our friends and family forever.

After you watch our first four videos about our wild adventures rescuing toys from the Toy Reaper, you are sure to lift an eyebrow, shake your head in wonder…and ask your kids to interpret just what is happening.

Some of you may start interceding for us. That's OK. We need it. If you could, say some prayers for the toys as well. They are in great danger.

The first video can be seen here…just don't say we didn't warn you: https://youtu.be/yz1Kt019KWE

The link to our channel where you can watch all four thrilling episodes is: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMqwOHxpg5vWTxHbjGW5GYA

Be sure to SUBSCRIBE so you can watch the adventure unfold multiple times each week.

Please don't unfriend us. We need you now more than ever.
John and Amy Burton and family

It’s OK. Laugh. Amy and I have busted up laughing with tears in our eyes many times as we recorded and watched the final release of each episode. Definitely cringy…cool! So far, the toys have led us to castle ruins, through tunnels, into the woods and into a dungeon! How can that not be thrilling?

Here’s the kicker. This channel may never bring us a dime, or some day it may bring in a truck load of dimes, but it has introduced something to our family that is exponentially much more valuable—we are having the time of our lives, together, as a family! The memories are more precious than all the gold in the world. In fact, there’s something to having fun as little children:

15 I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” 16 And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them. Mark 10:15-16 (NIV)

You can definitely laugh and cringe along with us. I can’t begin to tell you how much fun we are having with both of our channels. Recently Amy and I took a day trip to Lake of the Ozarks and recorded an episode about a monster in Ha Ha Tonka State Park. It was just good ole’ fun! We loved hanging together, coming up with story lines and just having fun on camera!

Amy is a brilliant story teller. She develops all of our themes and storylines for our escape rooms. After playing, guests are regularly amazed at the fact that she designed them herself. She’s amazing! Now, with our children’s focused channel, Toys of the Realm, she uses that gift in another way.

I’d strongly encourage you to watch, and cringe, and laugh HERE.

DO WHAT YOU LOVE

Another piece of advice we gave to the high schoolers was: do what you love. What causes you to come alive? Don’t base your career path on the amount of money it may provide. Discover your passion and have a blast discovering how you can turn that into a career!

How often do we hear stories of people who have climbed the ladder and gained a six-figure income, only to burn out, quit and turn a hobby, something they are passionate about, into a career? It happens every day.

I believe God puts passions inside of us, and often he enables us to turn those passions into wealth creating opportunities. Understand, when I say wealth, I’m not putting a gigantic number on it. Wealth is simply resource that enables us to live the life God has called us to, and to enrich others around us. Each stream of income may only bring in a few hundred dollars a month, but all together, they make it possible to pay the bills, give extravagantly and continue dreaming and developing new streams!

Of course, those of you who know me understand that I’m all about revival and ministering in power. Laying down our lives and surrendering all should be our devotion every day. Many are called to venture into costly, challenging ministry assignments that don’t pay much at all. Definitely do that with your whole heart!

However, I also believe we can still develop streams of income in the midst of ministry. When Amy and I were called to spend a season at The International House of Prayer in Kansas City, it would have been impossible if I hadn’t already developed sources of income that would sustain us. We eventually received a small stipend at IHOPKC as I first joined the graphic design team and then was asked to direct one of the four primary internships. That stipend was not nearly enough to sustain us. It took the other streams to make our ministry there possible. In fact, we were able to buy a house. There was no one single source of income that made that possible. Many streams (I believe we had developed seven separate small streams at that time) were required.

So, we were able to do what we loved, what we were called to do and support a growing family! After our season there, we moved to Detroit with no job, no new income opportunities and even nowhere to live. We drove our moving truck there, rented a place the next day, started a church, developed new income sources and watched ministry and finances develop together!

DON’T BE LAZY!

25 So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.' 26 “His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? 27 Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest. Matthew 25:25-27 (NIV)

Friend, many people are in lack because of this very parable. Look at how it continues:

28 “‘Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents. 29 For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. Matthew 25:28-29 (NIV)

Those who are lazy, those who don’t aggressively advance in their financial strategies will often find themselves losing ground while those who are prosperous and working hard will seem to gain with little effort.

While it’s true that doing what you love will result in a life where you don’t really work at all, as the saying goes, the truth is that you must work very hard. But if you choose your career and businesses wisely, the work will be enjoyable. While I understand that we may not see financial rewards from our two video endeavors for years, we are recording several times a week and I’m editing late into the night, several hours at a time, day after day. I love it!

However, it absolutely is work. Add that to running two extremely busy and demanding businesses, working often at those businesses personally to keep staff costs down, writing for Charisma and other publications, traveling for business and ministry, going to parent/teacher meetings, gymnastics and other soccer mom (and dad!) style responsibilities, and you have a lot of work!

This being said, as you work very hard, stay healthy, get rest and always know it’s God who brings increase, you will live in victory. A wrong heart will do you in. A right focus will bring great success. Your work and faithfulness will result in God ordering your steps.

Do not wear yourself out to get rich; do not trust your own cleverness. Proverbs 23:4 (NIV)

GUARD YOUR HEART

15 And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” Luke 12:15 (ESV)

The purpose of creating wealth is not for the sake of accumulating wealth. It takes a humble and zealous lover of Jesus to agree with the principle that God desires us to create wealth, and to have great resource to give extravagantly, while never, ever giving our heart to that wealth.

In fact, if you can’t grow financially and grow in Jesus at the same time, I’d strongly encourage you to do what the Rich Young Ruler was instructed to do. Give it all away! Your eternity is not worth a temporarily large bank account. It’s laughable that it would be.

So, guard your heart. Reject greed. Be a passionate, fervent lover of Jesus and allow the resources you develop to bring life to your family, to the church and to the Kingdom of God.

24 One man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty. 25 A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed. Proverbs 11:24-25 (NIV)

YOU CAN DO IT!

You absolutely have been given gifts and passions by God that can result in a joyful and very busy life that includes a strategic track toward financial prosperity.

God isn’t going to drop the money into your lap. The Parable of the Talents should be enough to shake us all out of that mirage. Not only has God given us the power to create wealth, he has given us the responsibility to do so!

I’d strongly encourage you to read a powerful article on the subject that I wrote recently titled: Why giving large percentages of our finances to the church might require disobedience to God.

Here’s an excerpt:

Successful entrepreneurs and business people will understand this principle easily. Their money is simply a tool. It’s used to expand their business, make investments and multiply their resources so they can have greater and greater impact.

Don’t ever look at a wealthy Christian in judgment. Many of them are doing exactly what God wants them to do. They aren't suppose to give everything to the poor or to the church. Their gift is much better used by multiplying resources and giving extravagantly year after year then by simply giving away what they have a single time. The result would be lack of resources and an inability to do what God has called them to do. If you have one million dollars, don’t give it all away. Multiply it and give millions and millions away.

If we give all we have to the church, or more than God has called us to, we won’t have enough to put to work for the sake of multiplication. We must give the correct amount and invest the correct amount to see the greatest Kingdom impact.

Kick into prayer. Develop strategies. Dream. Plan. Move. Risk.

Maybe God will call you to develop something that has the world laughing at you…as you laugh right on over to the bank. Your pastor and ministries all over the world will certainly appreciate the upward spike in your giving receipts as well.

Amy Burton TONIGHT: Discover powerful steps to financial prosperity

Amy Burton will be teaching TONIGHT at 7pm on financial prosperity and debt free living!

Discover practical and spiritual steps that will bring your finances into order and set you up for financial breakthrough!

Revival Church is located at 26091 Sherwood, Warren, MI 48091.

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If you aren’t local to Detroit, you can listen LIVE at www.thefurnace.tv/live at 7pm ET!

Listen now! A sudden outbreak of the spirit of revival in Detroit last night!

I didn’t see it coming! The spirit of revival surprised a zealous people in Detroit!

imageThis message will absolutely rock you with violence! Is it possible you have a crisis of revelation? Listen and expect a powerful experience with God HImself!

Listen NOW here: http://media.johnburton.net/4086197

I boldly share three motivations that keep me burning every day—and this strategy will cause you to burn through every obstacle in your life.

In a day when unity in the church is so critical, I refuse to unify with anybody who is lukewarm! This means that we must discover a burning, white-hot remnant that loves not their own lives, who are ready to explode!

Are you in this remnant?

Are we ready to lay down our lives for our city, or are we simply interested in a move of God that brings personal blessing and prosperity?

There is an awakening that must happen! When we start desiring encounter more than breakthrough the spirit of revival will come.

Listen now and follow along with my notes below:

My Three Motivations

I. We must burn

a. We were born to literally and aggressively awaken the sleeping and to change environments.

i. I believe to live an average life requires continual sin.

1. Our call is to live by the most fervent faith and have the most zealous disposition.

b. Night and day, never taking a break…we are to be consumed with the fire of the Living God!

c. I’m going to share three personal motivations that ensure I stay on fire.

i. If our foundational relationship is with God as problem solver, we’ll find ourselves to be sleepy, tepid and dry.

ii. We are called to govern and to bring about the change ourselves. We are to solve the problems!

iii. You awaken! You prophesy! You pray! You burn!

d. Church at Sardis- we have a problem.

i. Revelation 3:1-3 (ESV) 1 “And to the angel of the church in Sardis write: ‘The words of him who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. “ ‘I know your works. You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead. 2 Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God. 3 Remember, then, what you received and heard. Keep it, and repent. If you will not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come against you.

1. God will actually come against the church!

2. Our very good God will take on the role of adversary, as thief, against his church if it isn’t pure, white, spotless.

e. Church at Laodicea-we have a problem.

i. Revelation 3:15-19 (ESV) 15 “ ‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! 16 So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. 17 For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see. 19 Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent.

1. We must burn!

2. We can’t make declarations of our own satisfactory condition if God sees us as poor, blind and naked!

3. White hot devotion is a must!

II. Motivation #1: Deep, experiential intimacy with Jesus

a. Critical point: I’ve met many who identify with one of the three motivations, and that single focus is not enough to sustain us.

i. Many would say that all we have to do is experience God’s love and everything will just fall into place.

1. Not true!

2. Have you ever met someone who loved God and then sinned?

3. Have you ever met someone who just soaks in God’s presence but isn’t available to do the work of the ministry?

b. That being said, nothing else will work if we don’t have a deep, abiding, experiential, overwhelming and intimate relationship with Jesus!

c. Intimacy with Jesus will form us!

d. A. W. Tozer: The love of Christ both wounds and heals, it fascinates and frightens, it kills and makes alive, it draws and repulses. There can be nothing more terrible or wonderful than to be stricken with love for Christ so deeply that the whole being goes out in a pained adoration of His person, an adoration that disturbs and disconcerts while it purges and satisfies and relaxes the deep inner heart.

i. My personal life is marked by continual and intentional encounters with Jesus.

1. I am extremely devoted to intimacy!

ii. It’s a major, daily focus of my life!

1. Worship music is playing almost continually in my office.

2. I pray in the Spirit, soak, mediate and spend time just enjoying the Lover of my soul, the bridegroom.

3. My desire is alive!

4. E.M. Bounds: The deeper the desire, the stronger the prayer. Without desire, prayer is a meaningless mumble of words. Such perfunctory, formal praying, with no heart, no feeling, no real desire accompanying it, is to be shunned like a pestilence. Its exercise is a waste of precious time, and from it, no real blessing accrues.

iii. Matthew 7:7-8 (ESV) 7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.

1. Asking, seeking and knocking must be continual.

2. God isn’t resisting us, he’s wooing us!

a. We too often want God to manifest in our natural realm when he’s hiding just on the other side of the border of natural and supernatural.

b. He wants us to manifest in his realm!

c. The Great Commandment

d. Matthew 22:37 (ESV) 37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.

e. Jeremiah 29:13 (ESV) 13 You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.

e. This is why the cares of life must be violently eradicated!

i. David Wilkerson Many of those who once were so passionately in love with Christ now run about pursuing their own interests. They're burdened down with stress and problems, chasing after riches and the things of this world.

ii. If we are distracted by life, the Bible tells us we won’t mature, and we see a church out there that is immature and without time to be intimately involved with God.

iii. Luke 8:14 (ESV) 14 And as for what fell among the thorns, they are those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by the cares and riches and pleasures of life, and their fruit does not mature.

1. J. Oswald Saunders : We are at this moment as close to God as we really choose to be. True, there are times when we would like to know a deeper intimacy, but when it comes to the point, we are not prepared to pay the price involved.

iv. I’m looking for a store front for Revival Church North where we can devote many nights a week to fervent, intimate prayer! It’s a must!

1. Anna: Luke 2:37 (ESV) 37 and then as a widow until she was eighty-four. She did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day.

2. We must pray and refuse to allow anything to get in the way!

3. Oct 12.

III. Motivation #2: Fear, Trembling and Obedience

a. David Wilkerson: Love is not only something you feel, it is something you do.

b. Every day of my life I have a keen focus on working out my salvation, on obedience and on allowing God to reveal his justice to me.

c. Keep in mind we are not dealing with the friendly spirit, the cozy spirit…He’s the Holy Spirit!

i. Revelation 15:4 (ESV) 4 Who will not fear, O Lord, and glorify your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship you, for your righteous acts have been revealed.”

1. Yes, he is the comforter…but, if you find yourselves comforted in sin instead of comforted from sin, it’s a demon you are dealing with.

2. God’s comfort comes in holiness!

ii. Philippians 2:12-16 (ESV) 12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. 14 Do all things without grumbling or questioning, 15 that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, 16 holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain.

d. Am I blameless? Do I grumble? Do I obey without questioning?

e. Adam Clarke: Considering the difficulty of the work, and the danger of miscarriage. If you do not watch, pray and continually depend on God, your enemies will surprise you, and your light and life will become extinct; and then consider what an awful account you must give to Him whose Spirit ye have grieved, and of whose glory ye have come short.

i. One way I know I’m doing well is if I experience the fear of God and not the spirit of fear.

ii. If the spirit of fear is there, I know I’m not pursuing intimacy with Jesus sufficiently.

iii. If the fear of God isn’t there, I know I’m blinded to his righteousness and judgment.

1. There is simply no way to approach God in fullness without trembling and considering our own depravity!

2. Abu Bakr: When you advise any person you should be guided by the fear of God.

3. Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 (ESV) 13 The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. 14 For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil.

4. Matthew 10:34 (ESV) 34 “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.

a. The call to partner with God is a call to a hard core, sobering mission—and to sleepwalk through life, to pursue comfort and ease is to intentionally depart from God at the point of mission.

b. The fear of the Lord won’t allow us to leave when the loving feeling lets up.

c. I know my walk with Jesus will eventually lead me to the garden of Gethsemane, and I’ll have the option to sleep or to be with Jesus as he is about to shock the planet.

IV. Motivation #3: My Mission

a. If a commission by an earthly king is considered an honor, how can a commission by a Heavenly King be considered a sacrifice? – David Livingstone

b. I simply know that I can’t take a day off in my fervent pursuit of God because of the importance of my calling.

i. The same is true for 100% of you out there.

ii. If I don’t burn hot every day of my life, people will go to Hell.

1. James 3:1 (ESV) 1 Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.

iii. I have been seeing 11:11 everywhere!

1. I don’t know exactly what it means.

2. Could judgment be coming on Nov. 11?

3. Revival?

4. I believe 1 Cor. 1:11 is a key verse.

5. 1 Corinthians 11:1 (ESV) 1 Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.

6. Follow me as I follow Christ.

iv. Matthew 28:16-20 (ESV) 16 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17 And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. 18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

1. Since I know others eternities are dependent on my connection with Jesus, I cannot be one that doubts!

2. The moment I am faced with circumstances that challenge my faith, I have no option but to cancel everything and stir up my faith!

3. Tozer: “Any faith that must be supported by the evidence of the senses is not real faith.”

4. Also, I am to teach others what I’ve been commanded.

a. If I am not a student, if I’m not in deep contact with God, I won’t be able to disciple the nations!

b. And successful or unsuccessful ministry always results in either heaven or hell.

c. That keeps me motivated every single second.

c. This is why I simply cannot ever understand how people can excuse themselves from ministry by giving into distractions and excuses, relaxation and personal pursuits.

i. Every day I have eternity in my windshield. Every single day.

1. – Luis Palau A nation will not be moved by timid methods.

2. – David Livingstone Christ alone can save the world, but Christ cannot save the world alone.

3. Do you have an overwhelming, all consuming heart to change the world for Jesus?

4. Consider Hudson Taylor, a missionary to China:

a. As child, at age 5:
When I am a man, I mean to be a missionary and go to China.

b. As a young man:
I feel I cannot go on living unless I do something for China.

c. Late in life, as a veteran missionary:
If I had 1,000 lives, I’d give them all for China.

5 Alarms : Why does the enemy appear to be winning?

imageIt’s time to take an honest look at the typical Christian experience that is largely disappointing for so many.

Sing along with me:

I went to the enemy’s camp and took back what he stole from me, took back what he stole from me, took back what he stole from me…

This is a fun song to sing and has a sold ring of victory to it, but it has always troubled me. I always wondered why Christians seemed to be playing catch up, perpetually trying to gain back what was lost and attempting to convince themselves that they are victorious. We often try to cheerlead our way to believing we are who God says we are. It’s as if we are sitting on a couch in a counselors office, looking into a mirror and saying, “I’m OK. God likes me. I’m a winner. I’m OK. God likes me. I’m a winner.” If we say it enough, surely it will sink in, right?

Again, let’s be honest. Yes, we as Christians all agree that in the end Jesus wins. Or, do we really believe that? Is it simply easier to believe something that’s far removed and chiseled logically into the stone that holds the tenants of our religion?

What if that end of times war exploded violently and experientially right now? Would we simply embrace peace and easily, confidently know that Jesus wins—or would we freak out and worry as devastation creeps onto our front lawn? Would it it result in a crisis of faith or an eruption of faith?

Our foundation of faith (or lack of it) will result in difficult situations either triggering hopelessness and despair or passionate expectancy.

Lets bring it closer to home.

At any Sunday morning church service I could stand in the pulpit and ask the congregation a question: Who here has a history of financial struggle?

Most hands would shoot to the sky. Yet, we know that scripture declares that every need that we have is provided for!

Philippians 4:19 (ESV) 19 And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

Do you see the conflict? It’s a crisis of faith that is unfortunately experienced by most Christians!

Think about the 1260 promises in the Word of God. How many are inactive in the lives of Christians? How many have the enemy stolen away? Just where is that camp that we have to find so we can take back what he stole from us?

UNBELIEF

Psalm 84:11 (NKJV) 11 For the LORD God is a sun and shield; The LORD will give grace and glory; No good thing will He withhold From those who walk uprightly.

That’s a really good Bible promise!

Why does that verse feel more like a pipe dream than a common reality experienced by Believers?

Because many Believers are actually unbelievers.

They doubt. They are gripped by unbelief.

Check out this passage:

Matthew 13:10-15 (ESV) 10 Then the disciples came and said to him, “Why do you speak to them in parables?” 11 And he answered them, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. 12 For to the one who has, more will be given, and he will have an abundance, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 13 This is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. 14 Indeed, in their case the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled that says: “ ‘You will indeed hear but never understand, and you will indeed see but never perceive. 15 For this people’s heart has grown dull, and with their ears they can barely hear, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and turn, and I would heal them.’

Seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. This issue is gripped the unbelievers in the church!

Why don’t we see extreme prosperity, healing, joy, life and freedom in the church today?

Matthew 13:58 (ESV) 58 And he did not do many mighty works there, because of their unbelief.

Unbelief.

5 ALARMS

  1. Tradition. Another way to say it is historical evidence or past experience. If our confidence and expectations come from past experience and cultural norms instead of the wild realities of the Kingdom, you will live like most every other Christian out there—below the bar of Kingdom wonder.

    Matthew 15:6-9 (ESV) 6 …So for the sake of your tradition you have made void the word of God. 7 You hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, when he said: 8 “ ‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; 9 in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ ”

  2. Powerlessness. Christians are evidenced by their supernatural power. Check out this problematic passage:

    Mark 16:14-18 (ESV) 14 Afterward he appeared to the eleven themselves as they were reclining at table, and he rebuked them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they had not believed those who saw him after he had risen. 15 And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

    What a situation we have here! In the same breath that Jesus rebuked them for unbelief he was telling them to wise up and figure this Kingdom thing out. They were commanded to deal with their doubt and change the world. The way they would pass the test? Faith-fueled signs, wonders and miracles. Does it strike you as concerning that there are Christians out there that have not discovered the power of God flowing through them? It’s a very serious issue.

  3. Failure of performance. Have you ever quoted verses that dealt with an issue you were facing? Did you add some prayer to the mix only to be disappointed by a failed mission? The Bible speaks to this directly:

    Matthew 17:19-20 (NKJV) 19 Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, "Why could we not cast it out?" 20 So Jesus said to them, "Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,' and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.

    It’s unbelief. Doubt. The moment we give room for any ending other than what is promised in Scripture, you can label that unbelief. So, what was Jesus’ prescription for their unbelief?

    Matthew 17:21 (NKJV) 21 However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting." 

    We don’t pray and fast to cause demons to come out. We pray and fast to cure our unbelief. Apply this verse to any enemy that is winning in your life. Depression, fear, poverty, sickness. If you don’t have belief that joy and power and prosperity and health are yours for the taking, then move into an extreme season of prayer and fasting. Breakthrough hinges on your ability to fully believe without wavering.

    This verse makes the point very clear:

    James 1:5-8 (ESV) 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

    If we doubt, we can’t expect to receive. Period. If your mind entertains thoughts like, “God might heal me,” you are pretty much done before you began contending.

  4. No joy of salvation. Ouch. This one hurts, but must be addressed. We see salvation and faith so intertwined throughout scripture that we simply have do deal with this. If we as Believers are living most of our lives in the realm of unbelief can we casually presume to be saved? I’m not so sure. Check this out:

    Luke 8:11-15 (ESV) 11 Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. 12 The ones along the path are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. 13 And the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear the word, receive it with joy. But these have no root; they believe for a while, and in time of testing fall away. 14 And as for what fell among the thorns, they are those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by the cares and riches and pleasures of life, and their fruit does not mature. 15 As for that in the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patience.

    Do you see how faith and salvation are connected? Here we see the devil stealing the very thing that ensures their salvation—their belief. The next group experiences the joy of salvation, but didn’t have sufficient belief when the trials came. They fell away. It’s the last group that hears the word (faith comes by hearing the Word!) and endures and bears fruit with patience.

  5. Faith in what is visible. If we default to what is visible and humanly understandable, we will fall well below the mark of belief. This can have often tragic results. The story of King Asa should be an alarm for all of us:

    2 Chronicles 16:12-13 (ESV) 12 In the thirty-ninth year of his reign Asa was diseased in his feet, and his disease became severe. Yet even in his disease he did not seek the LORD, but sought help from physicians. 13 And Asa slept with his fathers, dying in the forty-first year of his reign.

    I believe one reason we don’t see more healings in America is because it’s too easy to pop a pill and trust that the doctors can heal us. That misguided faith has been devastating in its impact. The majority of our lives as true Believers exists in the invisible realm of the unseen—in the realm of confident belief.

    Hebrews 11:1-3 (NKJV) 1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 2 For by it the elders obtained a good testimony. 3 By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.

    For the Believer, the unseen realm has more substance than what our five senses pick up. For the Believer it’s easy and normal to believe the report of the Lord ahead of the report of human experience or human perception.

Church, it’s time we stop hoping and wishing our way to victory. Hope deferred makes the heart sick! We have to put an end to demonic thievery. Pumping ourselves up and cheerleading our way to a low level confidence in God’s Word must give way to a peaceful assurance of breakthrough. We don’t contend for victory, we start at the point of victory. Now, we don’t have to play catch up as we focus on personal identity and success. We can launch with great faith from the platform of success into the world changing missions that God has assigned us to. As champions and authorities in the Earth we don’t ever allow the enemy to steal anything—instead we take dominion over his camp, his domain!

I see a day coming in the church where everybody who simply yet fully believes is wildly joyful, prosperous, healthy and free—strong and ready to annihilate the kingdom of darkness with force!

Amy Burton is teaching on wealth, riches and money Thursday-and you are invited!

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Amy taught this popular and life changing message of financial freedom at IHOP—and now she’s teaching it in Detroit!

You may be blown away at how simple it is to break out of a poverty mindset and into financial breakthrough. This special class takes place TOMORROW, Thursday, November 3rd at 7pm at Revival Church.

Amy has demonstrated financial brilliance both in our ministry and in our home. Both Revival Church and the Burton family are debt free—and she was able to accomplish this through the simplicity of God’s clear biblical principles.

Amy will discuss:

  • Recognize and renounce the spirit of Mammon (Mammon is a demonic spirit that influences people to love, serve and trust money. Mammon wants to be your master.)
  • How to eliminate worry and anxiety over money
  • How to deal with an “I can’t afford it” mentality
  • Knowing your channels of provision
  • Becoming God’s financial manager
  • How to handle the overflow
  • Prosperity is the opposite of poverty

This is a special Thursday class at theLab, and we are opening it up to everybody! There is NO COST!

Show up right on time at 7pm at Revival Church which meets at The Tabernacle, 14205 12 Mile Road, Warren, MI 48088.

SEE YOU TOMORROW!

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